Virginia Boaters Education

Equivalency Exam

The Equivalency Exam tests the experienced boater's knowledge without the benefit of taking a full 6 to 8-hour course of instruction. The exam is a proctored, closed book, 80-question exam requiring a passing score of 80% or better. No reference material is allowed in the examination room.

Individuals passing the exam will be certified as meeting the Mandatory Boating Safety Education Compliance Requirements of Virginia; be issued a Virginia Boating Safety Card; and their name entered into the applicable Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) database.

Personal Watercraft Operation

Effective July 1, 2014 all personal watercraft (PWC) operators regardless of age and motor boat operators 45 years and younger must have successfully completed a boating safety course approved and accepted by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, carry proof of successful completion of such a course, and show this proof upon request by a law enforcement officer. 

It is illegal for persons age 13 and younger to operate a personal watercraft. If stopped by law enforcement and found not in compliance, the operator may be cited and subject to a $100 fine. Students who successfully complete an approved course are issued a wallet-sized, Boating Safety Card and their name entered into the VDGIF database. For more information visit the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.